The guys at SharpStyle are using a customized version of mojoPortal for their sites.
Unlike me, they know how to make things look pretty.
Aside from having attractive sites they have some interesting products.
Looks like they are making some good use of Flash in their sites. I would say they are probably Flash experts since one of their products is a tool for developing Action Script in Visual Studio. Pretty cool stuff.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:34:03 AM
I've setup a page here that will list the tutorial videos as I create them during the implementation of ecommerce for mojoPortal.
Here's a direct link to the first one:
Setting up The Solution and Projects
I'm still having trouble with Camtasia. I've tried a number of different audio configurations but after about a minute of capture the pitch of my voice seems to go up and the audio gets ahead of the video. I don't know if this is a bug, or a secret limitation to the free trial version (which is supposed to be fully functional), or if there is still some configuration I need to make to get it to work correctly. Anyone with any advice or experience in solving this problem please let me know. I'm hesitant to purchase this product if I can't make it work easily. The quality of the video and audio output seems very good but timing is critical and not having it in sync is a major problem.
If it would just work I could crank out tutorials easily but if I have to do 5 takes of each one like this its not going to be very helpful. I'm a busy developer and can't afford to waste a bunch of time on these, it needs to be easy and it needs to just work as expected.
Update 7:18 pm EST I just tried an experiment changing the default format for the Camtasia Recorder to .avi instead of .camrec. I watched quite a bit of the result andit seemed to be staying i sync but I haven't watched the whole thing yet. I am about to go out for the evening so I'll check it later but here is the link for anyone who wants to watch it, it about 29 minutes long
Setting Up the Module Control and Pages
Hopefully this is better.
The above linked Flash movie stays in sync for about the first 20 minutes then the audio gets ahead of the video, so still having the problem. It seems somewhat iproved since it lot longer in sync before it goes out but its still not appealing to spend a lot of time making a tutorial only to find that it didn't produce what you wanted and there is no apparent way to get it to do what it should.
Monday, February 26, 2007 9:56:16 AM
Though my initial experiments with Wink seemed promising as I tried to use it for more tutorials I ran into problems. After what I thought was a good take for a particular demo it crashed and lost my work. Then I did it again and the rendered content audio sounded slow and very deep, unintelligible.
So I downloaded the trial version of Camtasia Studio. It lasts 30 days fully functional and I think I'm going to have to buy it. It seems more feature rich and most importantly stable.
Here is the second take of a tutorial I did with Wink after the first take crashed
then I re-did it with Camtasia as seen here
It was an unscripted session both times I think I probably did a better take in Wink but the quality of the result with Camtasia is much better it seems to me.
Hopefully Wink will improve over time, I'll certainly keep my eye on it, but I need something more robust if I'm going to spend my time creating tutorials so it looks like I will pony up the dough for Camtasia soon, it seems very impressive to me.
Sunday, February 25, 2007 5:58:26 PM
Todd Stone nudged me to try Wink, a free demo/tutorial creation tool that allows you to do screen capture and audio capture to produce Flash movies. I finally got around to it just now and tested it by making a quick demo of the mojoPortal personalization features. Click here to watch it.
So far I'm really impressed with Wink, its easy to use. The audio sounds a little broken up but not too bad. I'm using a really good mic and preamp, I think its just the compression that makes it sound a little choppy. I used the web safe color palette to help make the file a little smaller. Wink outputs both the.swf Flash file and a .htm file to host the Flash movie.
I'm definitely going to do more tutorials this way, hopefully I will get better at it as I go. The personalization demo I did today was unscripted and done mainly as a test to get the audio levels right.
Update: I moved the .swf file for this tutorial over to my google pages site to reduce load on the web server hosting this site since the file is almost 6MB. IE doesn't seem to want to play the movie because the html page is not in the same domain as the movie file. This is probably a security feature of IE. If you are having this trouble use this link instead, it goes directly to the .swf file and IE seems willing enough to load it without a page wrapped around it.
Sunday, February 25, 2007 9:31:25 AM
As you may know if you've been following my posts and the progress of this project the 2.x branch of mojoPortal has not been able to work under Mono and has been waiting for things to progress in the Mono 2.0 ASP.NET stack.
Last night with Mono built from svn r73211, for the first time a few pages in mojoPortal 2.x do work! There are still errors to be fixed but this is the first time I've been able to get any pages to work. This is very encouraging progress, I am very excited because I feel we are getting very close now to having the 2.x version working on Mono.
I will say that I had to comment out the menu binding code to get the site working at all because there is still some work to do to correctly support custom SiteMapProviders in Mono, but I was able to get to the home page and I was able to login.
Big Thanks to Marek Habersack for all the great work he is doing in Mono to help us along!
There is still a tunnel but I can see light at the end of it!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 9:38:39 AM